Cooler weather is approaching. Here’s how you can save on your energy bill.
PENSACOLA, Florida – The arrival of cooler temperatures and shorter days can only mean one thing — time for Gulf Power customers to start thinking about energy efficiency to help keep bills low during the fall and winter seasons.
“Now that the temperatures are cooling off and many activities are moving indoors, our customers will be using more energy,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “This is perfect time of year to look for ways to conserve energy and save money through low-cost or no-cost measures.”
One of the easiest ways customers can identify ways to conserve energy is through a free home Energy Checkup. Customers have the option of an in-home or online checkup that analyzes their energy usage and helps them look for ways to save money and energy.
“Whether at our customers’ home or online, our energy experts can show how weather affects their bill, show how their home uses energy, and offers helpful suggestions that can help them save energy and money during even the coldest days,” added DelaHaya.”
Customers can call 877-655-4001 to schedule their in-home audit or go online for their personalized report.
Along with the FREE Energy Checkup, Gulf Power recommends the following energy saving tips for winter:
Adjust your thermostat
- As much as half of the electricity in your home goes to heating and cooling. Set the thermostat and then forget it. If you change the temperature often during the day, you are more likely to waste energy.
- In the winter, try setting the thermostat at 68° or below. Every degree above 68° will cost you 10 percent more on your heating bill.
- Change or clean your air conditioner filter monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
- Use your ceiling fan for more comfort, but only when you’re in the room. Remember to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan in winter to push warmer ceiling air downward for added comfort.
Stay warm in the winter — There are many things you can do to make you and your home more comfortable in the winter. Consider these tips for staying warm:
- Use an electric blanket at night. An electric blanket is more economical than heating the entire house all night long.
- Keep cold wind outside by closing garage doors.
- Close all louvers and vents in the attic or foundation walls during the winter — but be sure to open them when the weather turns warm.
- If you use portable electric heaters, use them only in small areas. Buy models that are thermostatically controlled.
- Leave draperies open on sunny days so your house will absorb the sun’s heat. Close them on the shaded side of the house and at night.
No-waste lighting — Lighting makes up 10 percent of your energy bill. Making it a habit to turn off lights that are not being used is a good way to avoid wasted energy. Here are some more energy-saving tips for lighting:
- Use energy efficient LED lighting. It is more economical than incandescent lighting, producing five times more light with the same amount of energy and lasting 10 to 15 times longer.
- Lamps with three-way switches are a good buy. You can lower the settings when less light is required.
- Use night-lights, which are low wattage, instead of leaving larger-wattage hall or room lights on at night.
- Install outdoor and security lights with a photoelectric switch that turns the light on at dusk and off at dawn. It’s an investment that pays for itself.
- Consider replacing incandescent lights in outside locations with lights that consume less energy and have a longer life.
- Open drapes on south-facing windows during winter daylight hours to get “free” light and heat.
Energy Select — Energy Select is a free program that lets you optimize how you use energy and tweak your settings giving you comfort and control while saving energy and money. You get:
- A smart thermostat you program for comfort and savings.
- Online programming — You can now program your Energy Select thermostat from any computer with Internet access, or smart phone or tablet.
- A variable rate structure that features four different prices based upon the time of day, day of week and season. And, because the price you pay is lower than the normal rate 87 percent of the time, you can choose to buy electricity during lower-priced periods, which saves you money and energy.
- Wi-Fi communications - Your home’s broadband Internet with secure Wi-Fi provides the communication link to Gulf Power.
- Participation in the program is free and installation is free.
Go to MyGulfPower.com/energyselect or call 1-877-655-4001 for more information.
- The weather has a big impact on the amount of energy you use, affecting the amount you pay each month to Gulf Power. With Budget Billing, you’ll take out the surprises out of your monthly energy bill.
- Budget Billing is a free billing option that evens out highs and lows of your monthly bill. With Budget Billing, you pay approximately the same amount each month, based on an average of your previous 12 months billing, instead of having higher bills in the summer and winter, and lower bills in the spring and fall.
- To enroll in Budget Billing, visit GulfPower.com/budgetbilling.
- Increase attic insulation, which can save up to 30 percent on cooling and heating costs.
- Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. So the higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
- Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-38 in ceiling areas.
- Check your windows and doors for air leaks. Install weather stripping or caulking if needed. Also check fireplace dampers for a tight fit and keep them closed when not in use.
For more energy saving tips and to learn more about Gulf Power energy-saving programs, visit MyGulfPower.com or call 1-877-655-4001.
Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 450,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com.
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